RSR: The WBA Takes A Courtroom L and Upcoming Stacked Cards



RSR: The WBA Takes A Courtroom L and Upcoming Stacked Cards
WBA ex champ Charr chilling

Welcome to the tenth edition of the Random Sunday Read. Thank you for reading and supporting this new column over the past weeks – there will be plenty more RSRs in the coming months.

This week everyone’s favourite boxing sanctioning body needs to take one on the chin despite trying to clean up its act somewhat and a couple of strong boxing cards to look forward to this month.

Let’s roll…..

Courtroom Shenanigans

There was barely time to consider a legal appeal over referee Luis Pabon’s ruling of a low blow in the Oleksandr Usyk – Daniel Dubois heavyweight fight in Poland on August 26 when the WBA informed the boxing world that their supposedly abolished title in the heavyweight division had been reinstated.

Mahmoud Charr chilling while awaiting court decision in WBA matter

Mahmoud Charr watched, waited, stayed cool it looks like… and has been rewarded for his patience in staying with this legal challenge

Apparently an unrelated legal challenge dating back years forced the sanctioning body to backtrack on their world title reduction plan.

Time to press rewind.

Oleksandr Usyk went into his unified heavyweight title defence against Daniel Dubois in possession of the WBA “super” title. In normal language that means he is recognised as the champion by that particular organisation.

But for years the WBA also designated a “regular” champion in each of the 17 weight classes.

Thanks to his win over Trevor Bryan in June 2022, Daniel Dubois held the WBA “regular” heavyweight title.

As part of their promise to eradicate the regular title in all weight classes, something known as “The WBA path to zero multiple champions,” the sanctioning body declared that the winner of Usyk-Dubois would be their heavyweight champion.

No more “super” or “regular” designation of titles. Just one title.

The statement was made by President Gilberto Mendoza in April, as Usyk-Dubois was being finalised: “The WBA ordered the fight [Usyk vs. Dubois] corresponds in line with its world title reduction plan.”

Plot Twist

On the night of the fight, alert viewers may have noticed that ring MC Michael Buffer had to introduce both Usyk and Dubois as the WBA heavyweight champion.

No mention of the terms that make all boxing fans shudder.

It may have confused new fans to the sport, but to those in the know it indicated that the WBA was indeed going to stick to its word.

However on August 31 a statement appeared on the WBA website.

“As part of a court settlement, the WBA Championships Committee has reinstated Mahmoud Charr as regular champion of the organization’s heavyweight division. The agreement reached puts an end to a long dispute brought by the boxer and his team.”

Big Baby Miller

Charr vs Big Baby next? Oh my

Ok, so Charr, who won the “regular” belt in 2017 but then didn’t defend it in time due to a variety of reasons – a positive drug test which was subsequently overturned, the pandemic and being unable to secure a travel visa to box Trevor Bryan in the United States in 2021.

Charr felt he was unfairly stripped of the belt and this formed the basis of his legal challenge to the WBA.

Charr won the case. The WBA also announced that Charr must face its number 5 ranked heavyweight Jarrell Miller, yes the walking chemical lab, before October 14.

So Charr vs. Miller Then?

See what happens when you create a monster WBA?

You may have finally seen sense and are in the process of getting rid of your two-tier title structure, but in the heavyweight division at least, the mess isn’t going to be easy to clean up.

Charr’s success in securing this settlement means the “regular” title will stay in play until such time comes that Usyk, or whoever holds the designated WBA “super” heavyweight belt, faces its secondary title holder once again and the crown can be consolidated. That could take years.

In the meantime, Charr, a 38-year-old Syrian heavyweight who is now based in Dubai and also holds German citizenship, has been ordered to fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller sometime in the next six weeks.

After his 2017 success, Charr didn’t box for three-and-a-half-years for the reasons outlined above.

He got back in the ring in 2021 to knock out Christopher Lovejoy in Germany.

Another two fights featuring Charr took place in Germany last year. He defeated overmatched opposition by early KO.

It’s Miller Time At WBA Towers

Pulling “Big Baby” Miller into this mess seems somewhat foolish.

The American heavyweight holds a record of 26-0-1, 22KOs, but has also failed three drug tests (two in boxing, one in kickboxing) over the years.

The man has a voracious appetite for PEDs.

His urine first set fire to testing equipment in 2014 when he received a nine month suspension from kickboxing.

Following that, Miller decided to fully concentrate on boxing but again his sample scorched the litmus paper in 2019 before he was due to face Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden.

Lesson learned? Well, no.

It seems like Mr. Miller ingested PEDs at the same rate as The Wolf of Wall Street consumed recreational drugs in the 1980s and 90s.

Big Baby Miller busted again for PED usage

His sample once again blew up a testing laboratory in 2020 before a scheduled bout against Jerry Forrest.

Miller is now back from the Forrest suspension and boxed twice last year.

He returned in Argentina, beating Ariel Esteban Bracamante via decision before returning to US soil to stop Derek Cardenas in Tennessee.

Miller has also gloved up this year. He scored a TKO victory over Lucas Browne in March in Dubai in a bout that one can only assume wasn’t subject to pre-fight drug testing.

Perhaps allocating Miller as an opponent is genius by the WBA. Assuming he beats Charr, which he definitely should, he’s one more positive test away from being thrown out of the sport.

He could take himself and the “regular” heavyweight title out of the boxing forever with just one more flaming stream of piss.

September Cards To Savour

Boxing is often criticised for serving up poor quality fare on the undercards of its big events.

This month though we have two strong looking cards which should be free from any sort of negative comments.

On September 30 in Las Vegas, Jermell Charlo and Canelo Alvarez will clash for all the gold in the 168-pound division.

This bout is strong enough on its own, and will capture plenty of attention in the coming weeks, as undisputed light middleweight champ Charlo tests himself by leaping up two weight classes to challenge for Canelo’s titles.

Canelo Vs Charlo

To look forward to…

The three fights below the main event are all captivating.

At 154-pounds, Jesus Alejandro Ramos Jr. (20-0, 16KOs) and Erickson Lubin (25-2, 18KOs) will get it on in an intriguing contest.

22-year-old Ramos Jr. will be looking to really announce himself on the big stage and secure a world title fight with an impressive performance and win.

Veteran southpaw Lubin knows it could be him benefiting greatly with a win. A third career defeat for Erickson may see the world title door close for good.

Yordenis Ugas (27-5, 12KOs) returns against Mario Barrios (27-2, 18KOs).

The welterweights will be looking to make sure they are in contention for vacant titles, if and when undisputed champion Terence Crawford leaves the division. This one looks like a very evenly matched-contest.

Perhaps the one that steals the show will be the middleweight clash between Elijah Garcia (15-0, 12KOs) of Arizona and Jose Armando Resendiz (14-1, 10KOs) of Mexico.

At just 20, Garcia is looked at as a world champion in waiting. 24-year-old Resendiz also holds world title ambitions. This one should be good.

Excellent Looking Card Taking Shape In Japan

Before the Canelo-Charlo extravaganza rounds out September in style a Monday, September 18 card from Japan catches the eye.

Unified 108-pound world champion Kenshiro Teraji (21-1, 13KOs) takes on Hekkie Budler (35-4, 11KOs) of South Africa at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena.

Challenger Budler, a two-weight world champion, will be looking to spring a surprise on the home fighter.

Hekkie Budler

Budler traveling to Japan

The 35-year-old will be the underdog, but his experience and previous world championship calibre means he can’t be written off here.

The fantastic Kenshiro is a star in his homeland and will look to electrify his fans once again.

Underneath the main event WBO super flyweight world champion Junto Nakatani (25-0, 19KOs) defends his belt against Mexican Argi Cortes (25-3-2, 10KOs).

An away win would be a surprise, but Cortes took the great Juan Francisco Estrada the distance last year so Nakatani will look to defeat Cortes in a more convincing manner.

If he manages it a potential unification with Estrada might be on the cards.

A third attraction on the Tokyo card features newly turned pro Tenshin Nasukawa (1-0) facing Luis Guzman Torres (10-2, 6KOs) of Mexico.

Former kickboxing legend Nasukawa is now looking to make a name for himself in boxing. He debuted in April, scoring a points win over Yuki Yonaha in a super bantamweight contest.

Nasukawa’s star power will ensure there is a high degree of interest in his second professional outing in Japan. Will he score his first sweet science KO on September 18?

Strong undercards in boxing – it’s never going to catch on, but let’s enjoy them when they do come along.

The RSR will return on September 17.

A boxing fan since his teenage years, Morrison began writing about the sport in July 2016. He appreciates all styles of boxing and has nothing but respect for those who get in the ring for our entertainment. Morrison is from Scotland and can be found on Twitter @Morrie1981.